I Don’t Want to See Your Band

You’re front and center and illuminated by warm light. You’re all anyone can see. You’re definitely all I can see. You begin to strum and I’m watching your fingers dance, remembering them or imagining them or both. You clench the frets and I feel pressure building beneath my skirt. I wore it for you.

I crane my neck to find the perfect view but we both know you’re striking from any angle. The girls to my left whisper; they’re smitten. They’re strategizing. I pity them. “Enjoy the show, girls,” I think. “He’ll be picking and plucking me later.” Your hand slides up and down the fingerboard effortlessly. That hand. I know it well. I’ve watched it disappear beneath my shirt.

My stare breaks, sees the bigger picture. You. Your guitar. Wood and strings, words and chords. When you blend these things together, do you get love? Is this love? You. Your guitar. It is love.

_____

What I didn’t understand at 17 is that I’d hit it on the head. Love, that is. Wood and strings, words and chords, you and your guitar. Love. As for me? I’m the girl who paid a five-dollar cover to watch you bask in undeserved adoration.

I was a dumb teenager, boy crazy. I heard a soft note drift from someone’s lips and thought, “honesty.” I heard an opening chord and translated it – “trust.” I saw a broad smile and a guitar and nothing else. “No, I don’t know his last name but just listen to Track 3! This guy gets it.”

There’s something intoxicating about musicians. They’re passionate. They make you want to go home and write poetry until you’re recycling couplets and your pen runs dry. But the guys I dated didn’t want poetry. They wanted me to shed a solitary tear when they played a new song for me, they wanted me to buy a disposable camera and capture them at all the right moments, they wanted me to bring my friends along. Occasionally, they wanted to kiss me – a secondary impulse, of course.

I was a teenage girl and always in close proximity to a stage, stoned and swaying. My hair was long, my body frail. My parents never expected me for dinner. I was the perfect fan. I’d get picked out of the crowd, I’d make sure of it, and the lead singer of the band and I would be inseparable until we weren’t. Until one of us wanted more or wanted less. We’d part ways; I’d find a new band and he’d find a new groupie.

I went to college; I met guys who weren’t in bands. I figured out who I was, and who I wanted to become. Despite those strides, I still couldn’t figure out what I was looking for in a male counterpart. I spoke up when it didn’t count and held my breath when it could’ve made all the difference. I met guys who were right for me and then dated their friend, instead. And yes, on occasion I found myself at a show, sipping a flat Gin and Tonic and thinking, “This one seems different.”

Musicians aren’t all the same, but the guys I’d fall for weren’t content to just be musicians. They wanted to be Gods. They had the looks and the talent; and they wanted the world in return. They expected it. They wanted to be idolized, dreamt about, cried over. One girl could never be enough. I got older and realized that I hadn’t been attracted to their guitars or their lyrics; it was their goddamn egos that roped me in time and time again.

A man with conviction in his abilities is a man I want to be with; a man I want to support. I’ve met enough men to know that they exist. The difference between those men and the boys I used to surround myself with is that men don’t need to objectify or belittle anyone else to prove their worth. There’s nothing sexier than someone who empowers the people around them. After all, the success of others doesn’t devalue your accomplishments. You’re the only one that can do that.

So, guys I haven’t talked to in years who bomb my Facebook inbox with invitations and my phone with mass-texts outlining the who, what, where of your next show, here’s what’s up. I’ve got my own fucking ego. My ego tells me that I deserve a guy who wants to stay up drinking Sparks with me until we can recite each other’s intricacies like the alphabet. Someone whose words are meaningful and not the rough draft of some contrived song. Not someone who occasionally glances down from their platform of superiority and somehow mistakes me, a person, for an accessory. A fan.

Find another fuckin’ groupie. TC mark

More From Thought Catalog

  • http://brianmcelmurry.blogspot.com/ Brian McElmurry

    Nice. I enjoyed

  • Katgeorge

    Hey my last name is really Georgakopolous. We're almost the same, sort of.

  • ididthat

    “I  met guys who were right for me and then dated their friend, instead”

    makes me sad.

  • Katgeorge

    PS THIS ARTICLE IS WONDERFUL. I'm doing this right now: “I met guys who were right for me and then dated their friend, instead.”I met guys who were right for me and then dated their friend, instead.”

  • Bev

    This is great.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1363230138 Michael Koh

    “My hair was long, my body frail. My parents never expected me for dinner. I was the perfect fan.”
    I thought the last part said, “I was the perfect tan.” I re-read that sentence again.

  • Jessica

    Or, maybe your friends (I mean, you wouldn't be friends with someone you didn't like on Facebook just to empower your own ego, right?  Just to prove your popularity by your friend count, right?) are doing something they really enjoy and think is cool and want to share it with you because they like you and are proud of what they are doing and think, hey, she's my friend, maybe she would like to come see this cool thing I'm doing.   You know, like how you write for a blog and probably think it's nice when a friend of yours says, hey Stephanie, great post the other day.

    • Liz

      You obviously have never dated a guy in a band. They have 1000's of meaningless facebook friends who get spammed with “show invites” daily.

      • To

        As someone in a band, I  resent this generalization.

      • Jessica

        If she's not really their friend anymore, she can always delete them. You don't HAVE to be friends with people on Facebook.

  • Lazyroar

    “There’s nothing sexier than someone who empowers the people around them. After all, the success of others doesn’t devalue your accomplishments. You’re the only one that can do that.”

    Such a wise statement. Great article.

  • Jake

    It honestly sounds like you have a lot of growing up to do. I don't know what it is that makes you so unhappy, but if you took even half of the effort you put towards figuring out men and put it towards figuring out yourself, maybe you could finally be happy as an individual and find some peace of mind. Then we all would not have wasted our precious time stumbling across and reading your dumb fucking article that makes you sound like you're twelve.

    • Kristen

      idk, didn't come off that way to me. maybe you should stay away from the internet commenting and stick to practicing drums in your parent's basement? :/

    • riles

      Uh. I think the point of this was that she DID figure out herself. She realized she wasn't just a “fan” to nurture some ass holes ego, and she doesn't need to be THAT girl because she ISN'T that girl.

  • Jake

    I see.. can't handle a little criticism.

  • Guest

    Or, guys in bands can learn to appreciate the people who supported them from the start and stop striving to be big celebrities. Rather than playing music with friends and being happy in a tiny room of 50 people, some musicians feel the need to completely hate their hometown and make them feel like they're nothing compared to random people who only like them because they're in a band.

  • jill

    i desperately want to send this to my band lover, but i don't want to stop fucking him so i probably won't

    spot on article.

  • Elvis Costello

    Writing about music is like dancing about architecture. It's a really stupid thing to want to do.

    • Anon

      Much like posting this comment!

      • ELVIS COSTELLO

        that*

    • http://twitter.com/LulabelleNiche Gabrielle Bodek

      “I got older and realized that I hadn’t been attracted to their guitars or their lyrics; it was their goddamn egos that roped me in time and time again.”

       She wasn't writing about music.

  • alywalansky

    i'm beside myself over this article – second time today i've read it. i sort of want to tweet it and post on facebook, but there's far too many people who it'd hit too close to home with.

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